Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What's the future of capitalism?

"Meet the Press" host David Gregory posed this question to his guests:

What's the future of capitalism?

Subject: "Meet the Press":... what's the future of capitalism?

From January 12, 2009 “Meet the Press”:

David Gregory: Let me ask a final question here in a conversation that will certainly go on. Mark Zandi, on the other end of all this, what’s the future of capitalism?

Mark Zandi: Oh, capitalism’s going to be fine. I mean, we’ve got a crisis of capitalism. We made a lot of mistakes as capitalists. And that’s why we have a government, and that’s why government has to be bold and step in the breach, and that’s what they’re doing. And on the other side of this, government will figure out a way to step out gracefully.

Paul Gigot: Well, I think capitalism will survive, but I think a good question now at this particular juncture is what kind of capitalism? Are we moving to a European brand; a, a much larger welfare state, a much larger entitlement state with slower growth, higher long-term unemployment? Or are we going to stick with what has been for the last 30 years, more or less, a relatively successful model? We’ve had this blowup. If we don’t make mistakes, we can get through this.

"We" made mistakes... give me a break; workers have had no part in the decision-making process.

"If we don't make mistakes, we can get through this." Capitalism is one big mistake.

Shouldn't we all be discussing this question?

What's the future of capitalism?

Here is how Marxist view the the problem:

From: Frederick Engels's--- Socialism: Utopian and Scientific/ (part of his /Anti-Dühring/), is a description of the crisis of capitalism that seems uncannily appropriate to today.

* * *

Commerce is at a standstill, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, hard cash disappears, credit vanishes, factories are closed, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much of the means of subsistence; bankruptcy follows upon bankruptcy, execution upon execution. The stagnation lasts for years; productive forces and products are wasted and destroyed wholesale, until the accumulated mass of commodities finally filter off, more or less depreciated in value, until production and exchange gradually begin to move again. Little by little the pace quickens. It becomes a trot. The industrial trot breaks into a canter, the canter in turn grows into the headlong gallop of a perfect steeplechase of industry, commercial credit and speculation, which finally, after breakneck leaps, ends where it began--in the ditch of a crisis. And so over and over again. We have now, since the year 1825, gone through this five times, and at the present moment (1877) we are going through it for the sixth time.... The fact that the socialised organisation of production within the factory has developed so far that it has become incompatible with the anarchy of production in society, which exists side by side with and dominates it, is brought home to the capitalists themselves by the violent concentration of capital that occurs during crises, through the ruin of many large, and a still greater number of small, capitalists. The whole mechanism of the capitalist mode of production breaks down under the pressure of the productive forces, its own creations. It is no longer able to turn all this mass of means of production into capital. They lie fallow, and for that very reason the industrial reserve army must also lie fallow. Means of production, means of subsistence, available labourers, all the elements of production and of general wealth, are present in abundance. But "abundance becomes the source of distress and want" (Fourier), because it is the very thing that prevents the transformation of the means of production and subsistence into capital. For in capitalistic society the means of production can only function when they have undergone a preliminary transformation into capital, into the means of exploiting human labour power.

Frederick Engels's---
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific/
part of his...
Anti Dühring/
New York: International Publishers, 1935, pages 64-65

David Gregory probably won't be asking his guests to comment on Engel's observation any time soon.

However, as it becomes more obvious to many people that capitalism has failed and on the skids to oblivion David Gregory might start asking his guests how long we should remain on this capitalist road to perdition.

Something to think about around the kitchen table as you are trying to figure out how to make ends meet and pay your heating and health care bills while this rotten, corrupt government squanders billions of dollars subsidizing this Israeli slaughter of the children of Gaza which has turned into a full-fledged pogrom.

Alan L. Maki